Week 8 Grades: Panthers vs. Rams

The defense stifled All Pro RB Steven Jackson, but the Panthers cannot win with a historically inept offense. See how every unit grades out in the team's Week 8 loss to the St. Louis Rams.

PASSING OFFENSE: F -- Matt Moore threw three more interceptions (giving him 10 for the season), and David Gettis pulled a disappearing act (no catches) one week after his breakout game against San Francisco. While Steve Smith led the team with 85 yards on nine catches, he also had a fumble and dropped a ball right between the numbers. Brandon LaFell caught his first touchdown pass, but the offensive line gave up three more sacks. There was simply no continuity and no flow to the passing game except when the Panthers went to the no-huddle offense.

RUSHING OFFENSE: F -- RB Jonathan Stewart had a stinker Sunday with 30 yards on 14 carries. On the season, he's averaging less than three yards per carry. Stewart left without speaking to the media, but he did leave this message on his Twitter account: "Ignorant remarks will do no good ... Sit on that!" He later tweeted that message was "irrelevant." The Panthers were 15-0 coming into the game when Stewart carried the ball 14 or more times in a game. Now that record is 15-1. As a team, the Panthers had 25 yards on 11 carries. That's terrible. And that's why they're 30th in the league in rushing -- and sinking fast.

PASS DEFENSE: C-plus -- Considering how much time the defense spends on the field every game, it's hard to grade the unit so low. If the offense were the least bit productive, the defense might not be so tired at the end of the game. Still, Sam Bradford threw two touchdown passes and completed 23 of 37 passes for 194 yards -- a pretty efficient day, all in all -- so there's some bit of blame that falls on the defense. As defensive coordinator Ron Meeks said, "It's our job to get off the field, no matter what."

RUSH DEFENSE: A-minus -- The Panthers made it a priority to stop Steven Jackson and did a pretty good job of that, limiting the Rams' all-time leading rusher to 59 yards on 23 carries. Nick Hayden got the start at defensive tackle over Ed Johnson and did well. Limiting the Rams to 2.1 yards per carry is pretty strong.

SPECIAL TEAMS: B -- The Panthers didn't lose this game on special teams. Captain Munnerlyn replaced a tired/banged-up Steve Smith on punt returns and took one back 31 yards. John Kasay hit his only field goal of 44 yards, and Jason Baker was solid. The same can be said of Carolina's coverage teams. Mike Goodson struggled on kickoff returns, averaging just 21.4 yards per return.

COACHING: D-minus -- You can't blame Jeff Davidson for mixing it up and calling a few trick plays, but the Panthers just didn't execute them. The Panthers might have considered sticking with the no-huddle offense in the second half since Moore seems to work best in that situation. Hey, at this point it can't hurt. With a chance to carry the momentum forward, the offense instead took a step backward. At this stage of the season, you have to point to the offensive coaching staff. John Fox almost never fires his assistants, but Jeff Davidson certainly isn't well-liked in Charlotte right now.

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